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Gary Cooper and Richard Hartgrove, Mixed-Income Living, Longhorns and more

Richard Hartgrove and Gary Cooper: Witnesses to profound social progess
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HISTORY: Witnesses to profound social progress. From my story in the Statesman: "Had Richard Hartgrove and Gary Cooper met on the streets of New York City as young men in the 1960s, police might have arrested them. For talking to each other. During the 1950s and ’60s, the police routinely raided gay businesses and neighborhoods. The media published the names of those arrested, often ruining lives. Even chatting up a friend on the sidewalk could land one in jail for “soliciting” or “loitering.” “We were treated like vermin,” Cooper says. “You couldn’t tell your company you were gay. You’d lose your job, your housing.” As it turned out, Hartgrove, 70, and Cooper, 68, didn’t meet until 1979. Yet they vividly recall the brutal facts of social life from their younger years. http://shar.es/QWgZC  (Role models indeed.)

CITY: Goal of mixed-Income living more complicated than you think. From Dan Zehr's story in the Statesman: "When Gareth and Mary Wilcock bought a home in the Mueller housing development, they weren’t thinking about their children’s future earning power. They just wanted a better home to raise a family. At the time, Gareth Wilcock said, they lived in a $125,000 house in University Hills that was affordable but didn’t have a proper foundation or sewer. So, on a whim, he and Mary, who was pregnant with their first child, stopped in at Mueller to explore. They ended up buying one of the neighborhood’s new affordable housing units for $165,000. In the decade since, Gareth’s real estate work took off, as did Mary’s event-planning business. The couple now has two children, and in April they moved into one of Mueller’s market-rate homes, buying it for about $430,000. Given their recent success, the Wilcocks could’ve moved to a more exclusive neighborhood. “I kind of drank the Kool-Aid,” Gareth said. “I like the fact that it’s mixed use as well as mixed income. It’s just a really cool place to be.” http://shar.es/QWpeE  (Read to the end. Disrupts some accepted Austin assumptions.)

SPORTS: Time to beat the drum in the Drum. From Cedric Golden's column in the Statesman: "They showed up. They cheered. They even stayed. The Erwin Center was rocking Saturday afternoon, and this time, it rocked during an actual basketball game. This wasn’t George Strait or Sesame Street Live or even the wildly popular WWE Monday Night Raw. This was University of Texas basketball, complete with a raucous crowd, deafening decibel levels and complete crowd participation. It’s what Rick Barnes craves with every fiber of his being: a beehive of a gym that gets under opponents’ skin night in and night out. A home-court advantage that makes other teams’ skin crawl. The fans did their job, and the Horns felt the energy from the opening tip to the final whistle. Why can’t it always be this way? “I don’t know; you tell me,” Barnes said after the the Horns put a real sting into the sixth-ranked Jayhawks with an 81-69 beatdown that has UT in solid Big 12 title contention." http://shar.es/QWrZd  (Texans love winning ways.)

TEXAS: Anti-regulation politics might have hurt energy industry. From Neena Satija's story in the Texas Tribune: "Businesses in energy-related industries in Texas say they have been unable to take full advantage of the natural gas boom that is roaring across the state because of a delay in the issuing of greenhouse gas permits — an instance in which Texas’ anti-regulation stance might have actually hurt business. The Environmental Protection Agency began requiring the permits more than three years ago, but the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality refused to enact the rules, arguing that it was illegal to regulate greenhouse gases. That left the responsibility to the EPA, which is only slightly larger than its Texas counterpart and has a small permitting division. As a result, the backlog of applications grew quickly, as did the complaints. Texas lawmakers directed the state’s environmental agency last year to begin following the federal regulations. But it will take months for the agency to implement its own rules to take over the permitting." http://trib.it/1aRgFys  (Backwash.)

USA: Foul legacy of Louisiana oil. From Ken Silverstein's story in Harper's: "One Monday evening this March, I had a remarkably forthright two-hour conversation with Ginger Sawyer, one of the most powerful lobbyists in Louisiana. As we sat across a table at a TJ Ribs in Baton Rouge, Sawyer filled me in on the oil-and-gas industry’s goals for the 2013 state legislative session. She’d retired the previous year, following a bout with cancer and the death of her longtime partner in a freak accident, but had been called back in on a one-year contract by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry in part because the state’s petroleum companies were facing major challenges. For one, Republican governor Bobby Jindal had proposed eliminating Louisiana’s personal and corporate income taxes and replacing the lost revenue by jacking up its sales tax, which Sawyer worried would anger the public. “If that happens, the legislature might close some of the exemptions for the oil-and-gas industry,” she said. “I helped win a lot of those exemptions in the Eighties and Nineties, so I’ve got the institutional knowledge and history.” http://bit.ly/1bkxi3o  (Revealing.)

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